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USAID grant signed to create 2,000 new jobs for youth in the apparel industry

Signed a new grant with Generation Program Kenya Limited, a local subsidiary of the McKinsey Social Initiative. Working hand-in-hand with Kenya’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives, the Kenya Association of Manufacturers and apparel companies, the program will set up and equip seven training centers throughout Kenya, provide over 100,000 hours in skills development and train 2,000 Kenyan youth, preparing them for full-time sewing machine operator jobs in the industry.  The grant is a part of the Hub’s larger “East Africa Cotton, Textile and Apparel Workforce Development Initiative,” a collaboration between the Hub and the American Apparel and Footwear Association that will ensure U.S. brands and retailers’ goods are manufactured in accordance with best business practices and operations in East Africa, producing a win-win for trading partners.

Kenyan woman-owned home-décor company enters mainstream U.S. market

Supported a Kenyan home decor producer to ship her largest-to-date U.S. order. Valued at $200,000, the deal is as a result of the Hub-organized Cost Plus World Market Trade Mission. (see success story at the end of this report) The profit from this order will go to the nearly 400 artisans who contributed to each hand-carved piece and will help finance her next big export to the U.S., which shouldn’t be far off given her now proven capacity for high-volume supply.

Read more here

The Hub supports increased investments in the upcoming Kenya Leather Park

On June 30, the Hub’s leather advisor completed his contract, during which he facilitated $9 million in total investment commitments for the upcoming Kenya Leather Park and a trade deal between Bata Shoes Kenya, Kenya Defense Forces and the Kenya Prisons Services to supply a total of $1.9 million in new sales of officer’s boots and shoes. Also in the leather sector, the Hub supported an India-based ‘trainer of trainers’ session that provided new eco-friendly technologies for best practices in leather finishing and production for five Kenyan tanneries and leather companies.

The Hub facilitates $36M new private sector investments

The Hub has facilitated $30,633,968 new private sector investments in the ag and non ag sector in Kenya. The Hub offers transaction support services. Eligible investors include private equity funds, commercial banks, impact funds, and development finance institutions. The Hub’s transaction team acts as a neutral intermediary to provide: opportunity validation market intelligence, fundraising support, due diligence, deal structuring, financial analysis and modelling. 

The Hub has helped financially close $51m of investments over the life of the project, $33.9 million in the agricultural and food chain sector and $17.4 million in the non-ag sector. There are $165 million of deals under review in the Hub’s investment pipeline. Over 

Product development excellence training for SMEs

Facilitated training on product development excellence for selected SMEs in the sector, in collaboration with Kenya Leather Development Council (KLDC). The training covered a wide range of topics in product development, including: product development planning, product development process, managing cross-functional teams and how to generate superior value products.

Helped leather enterprises develop innovative products that can compete globally, with a focus on company owners and senior management – those who can implement the concepts on which they were trained.

Trade and export facilitation through “Buy Kenya Build Kenya” strategy

Facilitated Kenya’s leading player in the formal footwear sector and the largest buyer of raw leather, Bata Kenya, to access opportunities for supplying Kenya Defense Forces with military boots and shoes.

Linked Bata Kenya to SMEs who have since started sourcing specialized finished leather for manufacture of leather goods, resulting in approximately $1.9 million in new sales.

Introduced MAS Tannery, a company established in 2004 that specializes in tanning (wet blue), to new markets in Turkey, India and Egypt. This allowed the company to increase exports to new clients  by approximately $500,000 per month.

Investor mobilization for the Kenya Leather Park



Supported Kenya’s Ministry of Agriculture to purchase 50,000 MT of maize from Ethiopia for the Kenyan Strategic Grain Reserve, bringing the total maize trade facilitated by the Hub between Ethiopia and the East African region to $100 million in the current season. 

Related Blogs and Resources

SME Risk Capital Funds.

Published on April 10, 2015
  SME Risk Capital Funds a report published by FSD Kenya provides a profile of institutional investors in Kenya and an assessment of their attitude and appetite for investment in early stage investment funds targeting small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).1 The report was commissioned by GrowthFin, a programme of the Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) Trust that works with policy makers, donors, industry associations and financial institutions to identify and overcome impediments to the provision of financial services to SMEs.
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Konza City unveils smart technology plan

Published on April 08, 2015
Konza City plans to develop its infrastructure using smart technology. This will see it reap the benefits of innovation and connectivity. The technology city has embarked on developing smart city building standards using smart technology solutions. "Smart concepts will be designed into the city using Internet and telecommunication networks to enhance the city's efficiency and integrate infrastructure and services," said Konza Technopolis Development Authority Chief Executive John Tanui. Read more. Source|Standard Digital
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Smoothen our investment route back home, urge Kenyans abroad

Published on April 02, 2015
Kenyans living in the diaspora have asked the government to create a more conducive investment environment to enable them increase their capital outlays back home. During the inaugural diaspora investment conference held yesterday in Nairobi, the group asked for more accurate and transparent data to help them make informed investment decisions. “The government needs to play the role of creating an enabling investment atmosphere for us,” said a Kenyan diaspora representative from Japan. The two-day conference themed Development and Innovation: Opportunities for Diaspora is expected to come up with an investment framework to be applied in a bid to encourage more Kenyans to invest at home.Read more. Source|Daily Nation
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Biz4Afrika Kenya Online Hub launches to promote SMEs and boost Intra-African Trade

Published on March 31, 2015
Today at the Connected East Africa Summit, Microsoft 4Afrika launched an online hub for Kenyan small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to access locally relevant information and resources to  promote SMEs and improve trade. Biz4Afrika is an Africa-wide network of SMEs designed to enable a sustainable and connected community of entrepreneurs that will have a meaningful impact on job creation, global competitiveness and wealth creation in the long run. Started by the Kenyan ICT Authority in 2009, the former Kenya ICT Summit is being expanded to East Africa for the first time with the theme, ‘the strength is in our networks’. The goal is to promote the ideals of a shared ICT infrastructure and a talent pool of young innovators and entrepreneurs that will promote regional trade. Read more. Source | PC Tech Magazine
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Obama visit signals better diplomatic ties with the United States

Published on March 31, 2015
US President Barack Obama’s plan to visit Kenya in July has offered the clearest indication yet of the continued warming of US -Kenya relations. Mr Obama’s visit for bilateral talks and the 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Summit will be the first by a sitting US President to Kenya, but his fourth on the continent. “President Obama will visit Kenya in July 2015 for bilateral meetings with President Kenyatta and to attend Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2015,” said State House spokesman Manoah Esipisu . Read more. Source | Business Daily  
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Nairobi outsprints peers as place to invest in Africa, says new report

Published on March 18, 2015
Discovery of oil, mining and investment in energy, roads and port projects have seen Nairobi ranked as the most attractive destination for foreign direct investment in Africa, says a report. Kenya's capital city is now the regional financial services hub only rivaled by Johannesburg on the continent. “Nairobi outscores all African cities in FDI,” PWC says in the report titled Into Africa: The Continent’s Cities of Opportunity. Twenty African cities considered among the most dynamic and focused on the future are Abidjan, Accra, Addis Ababa, Algiers, Antananarivo, Cairo, Casablanca, Dakar, Dar-es-Salaam, Douala, Johannesburg, Kampala, Kigali, Kinshasa, Lagos, Luanda, Lusaka, Maputo, Nairobi and Tunis. Read more. Source | Daily Nation.
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Kenya to reap from World Trade Organisation forum

Published on March 18, 2015
Kenya is set to benefit from the tenth World Trade Organisation ministerial conference with an estimated $8 million (about KSh1.6 billion), expected to be spent in the country. The conference which coming to Africa for the first time is set for Nairobi between December 15 and 18. According to the ministry of foreign affairs, the conference is expected to attract more than 5,000 trade stakeholders from 161 member states. Read more. Source | The Star  
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Kenya, the flower garden of Europe

Published on March 17, 2015
Kenya is the third largest exporter of cut flowers in the world, accounting for around 35% of all sales in the European Union. Famed for being long-lasting, Kenya's roses, carnations and summer flowers are also popular in Russia and the U.S. where last week several growers showcased their blooms at the World Floral Expo in Los Angeles. The event is one of the industry's largest and gathers over 80 exhibitors from across the world, with several Ethiopian growers also representing the African continent alongside Kenya. Read more. Source | WDSU New Orleans
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